Desert Milkweed (Asclepias erosa)

Asclepias_erosa-1 5710790135_d1704c959b

(A.leucophylla, A.l. var.obtusa, A.erosa var. obtusa,A.obtusata, A.Rothrockii) Milkweeds are amongst the most important insect plants. Butterflies and some beetles use milkweeds as nectar sources and the foliage as food. This means the plant will look great and unusual in spring half eaten and mangy by fall, then it goes deciduous.

Desert milkweed makes a strong architectural statement. Groups of slim, gray-green branches rise 3’ tall and flower with cream-colored blooms. Important larval food plant for both Queens and Monarchs. Plant among rocks along a simulated arroyo, or along any pathway with a desert plant palette.

Asclepias_erosa_4 asclepias_erosa_1252

There is normally no pruning to be done, but every few years the plant may be cut to the ground in late winter to renew itself. Fertilizing is not necessary. Use as an accent plant, in the swimming pool area, butterfly garden, cactus or native plant garden.